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Feature Article

New Holding with a Fresh Start

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 9, 2018
Behind every successful yieldco is a deep-pocketed and motivated sponsor. Now NRG Yield (NYSE: NYLD) has one in privately held Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). On August 31, GIP closed its acquisition of NRG Energy’s (NYSE: NRG) ownership interest in the yieldco, changing its name to Clearway Energy Inc. Beginning September 17, 2018, the NYSE symbol for the shares will automatically switch to CWEN. NYLD “A” shares will trade as CWEN.A.

High Quality Midstream and Cheap Again

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 9, 2018
Conservative Holding Pembina Pipeline Corp (TSX: PPL, NYSE: PBA) is underwater -5.6 percent this year. That compares to a 7.4 percent return for the Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index.

Portfolio Strategy: Time for High Grading

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 9, 2018
It’s hard not to be cheered by this week’s strong news on US employment. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of strong portents to keep up with lofty investor expectations in year 10 of this historic bull market. And there’s no shortage of potential pitfalls to trigger reversals.

Dividend Cuts: Good News and Bad news

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 9, 2018
First the good news: Four companies earned an exit from the Endangered Dividends List this month without cutting payouts. CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is off after a stock and bond rally following turnaround second quarter results. That eases cost of capital pressures on the dividend and merits a boost in our buy target.

Profits and Perils from Emerging Market Meltdowns

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 9, 2018
Some 20 years ago, the US stock market and economy were poised on a knife’s edge. The emerging market storm that started with the 1997 fiscal meltdown in Thailand had at last reached these shores. The S&P 500 had already tumbled by more than 15 percent from its summer highs, and would go on to drop another 10 percent before touching bottom on October 8. Only dramatic action by then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and other central bankers stemmed the tide that in the end actually landed a major country in bankruptcy, Russia.

Return to Dividend Growth on Track

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2018
Back in February, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (NYSE: HASI) announced it wouldn’t raise its dividend this year. We didn’t like the freeze but agreed with management’s desire to instead build coverage and fund growth, while absorbing the expense of converting then-hefty variable rate debt to fixed rates.

Big Yield, Steady Growth and a Currency Kicker

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2018
Conservative Holding Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (TSX: BEP-U, NYSE: BEP) is lower by about 11 percent in US dollar terms this year. That’s 11 percentage points worse than the Dow Jones Utility Average and 18 points behind the S&P 500. But Brookfield’s stumbling share price is a stark contrast to an underlying business that’s stronger than ever, underscored by a 6 percent plus dividend still on track for 5 to 8 percent long-term annual growth.

Portfolio: What’s Important From Q2 Earnings

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2018
Whether your primary investment objective is income, safety, capital growth or short-term gains, earnings reporting season is where the rubber meets the road. For traders, market reaction is what’s most important. For investors in our three Conrad’s Utility Investor model portfolios, it’s the actual numbers and guidance that determine whether companies are still on the right track, and therefore if we want to stick with them.

Merging to Cut Distributions

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2018
Enbridge Inc (TSX: ENB, NYSE: ENB) management isn’t budging from take under offers for its US MLP affiliates Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP) and Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP). That boosts the odds the proposed stock-for-stock exchange ratio will hold, along with distribution cuts of 40 percent for Enbridge and 10 percent for Spectra.

Big Yield Hunting The Utility Way

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2018
Giant accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP projects more than 60 percent of Americans will outlive their investment portfolios. Some will over spend. But the greatest threat to all is simply poor investment returns: The result of lacking a disciplined income strategy and relying on investments that sacrifice too much potential return for a dubious promise of safety. I definitely count cash alternatives and the vast majority of bonds in that category. As our table “High Yields With Upside” highlights, we’ve done very well buying undervalued fixed income from our Utility Report Card universe of essential services companies.



Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth. Roger b